Levity Entertainment Group in Westchester has acquired The Improv, the 54-year-old comedy club brand owned by Budd Friedman and Mark Lonow, Levity announced on Feb. 1.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Friedman launched the first Improv comedy club on 44th Street in New York City in 1963. The original location has since shuttered, but the franchise has grown to include more than 20 clubs nationwide. The second club to open was the L.A. Improv, which opened in 1974 on Melrose Avenue in the Fairfax District and remains in business.
The Improv also maintains a library of comedy assets that includes the “An Evening at the Improv” series originally broadcast on A&E for 14 years.
The Improv acquisition signifies the beginning of Levity’s expansion of entertainment venues globally, the company said in a statement. Levity also owns television production company Triage Entertainment, and Levity Talent Management. Levity Entertainment Group is a joint venture between Azoff MSG Entertainment and its founders.
“The Improv, together with our existing venues, allows us to build a global comedy network, which is such a valuable asset to our production and talent management businesses,” Levity’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategist Alireza Ghaemian said in the statement.
Media and entertainment reporter Diane Haithman can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @dhaithman.
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